David (“Dave”) Graham Wilson – eminent Cumberland County civic and business leader, novelist, avid deep sea fisherman, writer of biting editorials, motorcycle adventurist, world traveler and adored husband of Barbara Wilson, beloved father and grandfather—passed away Sunday morning at Cape Fear Valley Hospital, November the 24th. He was 81 years old.
To say that Dave Wilson was larger than life would be an understatement. Dave lived life to the fullest whether it was deep sea fishing in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Holden Beach, riding his motorcycle through the Bavarian Alps, penning a savagely cutting editorial or simply making the world’s greatest pancakes for his grandchildren. He was a true Renaissance man who was as comfortable on the lectern at Methodist College as he was driving a tractor. He was as skilled with words as he was with a tablesaw. He would fix your grammar as easily as he could fix an inboard motor.
David Wilson was born in Washington DC on December the 17th 1937 to the late Graham and Cora Wilson. He attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and graduated in 1960 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also attended Graduate School of Automotive Engineering at the Chrysler Institute in Detroit Michigan.
After finishing his college degree Dave married the love of his life, his college sweetheart, Barbara Ann Hubbard of Fayetteville on the 19th of June 1960. They married in her family’s living room on the farm where she grew up. Dave and Barbara would later decide to build their own home just a few 100 yards away and have lived there happily ever since.
Dave worked for many years at both Black and Decker and Fasco Industries but primarily at Fasco where he later became President of Fasco Consumer Products. He was dedicated to all his employees and took great pride in their well being. He considered them all as a big family. Being an engineer at heart, he was always working on building a better product and collected multiple honors plus a few government patents along the way. Dave also worked tirelessly for Fayetteville and strongly believed in giving back to his community. He served as a Trustee member for Fayetteville Technical Institute later Fayetteville Technical Community College as well Board President for the FTCC Foundation. He served as Chairman of the United Way of Cumberland County, Cumberland County Library Board of Directors, Cumberland County Sheltered Workshop, he served as Methodist College Board of Visitors President, Methodist College Executive in Residence at the Reeves School of Business, Fayetteville Museum of Art Board of Directors, Fayetteville Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman, North Carolina Business Committee for Education Board Member and Fayetteville Business Person of the year 1988. He took a big interest in the Bikes for Children effort begun by the late Moses Mathis aka “The Bicycle Man” and he recently helped create a Diabetes awareness program at FTCC.
However, his main passion was his family and took great joy having everyone together at their summer home at Holden Beach. He loved the ocean and since his days as a child working on the docks of Colonial Beach Virginia he has had strong connection to it. His great release was deep sea fishing but as a grandfather he loved teaching his grandchildren how to sail, handle a fishing rod and run a boat. Every morning the family was together he would dutifully make breakfast for his wife, children and grandchildren. He will be terribly missed by his family to include his wife of sixty years, Barbara Hubbard Wilson, His Daughter Elaine Wilson Alexander, her husband Dr. Matthew Alexander, his Daughter Carol Ann Wilson and her husband Carlo Pieroni, his son David Scott Wilson and his wife Ingrid Bialas-Wilson and his seven adoring grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Connie Morrison of Burnsville Minnesota and numerous nieces and nephews. Last but not least, he will be missed by his devoted dog “Skip”.
The service to celebrate the life of this extraordinary man will be Saturday at 11:00am at Macpherson Presbyterian Church, 3525 Cliffdale Road, Fayetteville NC. Memorial donations in lieu of flowers can be given in his name to the FTCC Foundation Scholarship fund at FTCC Foundation, PO Box 35236, Fayetteville, NC 28303.
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PO Box 35236, Fayetteville NC 28303